State of the Art Presenters

Dr. Bruce Thomsen

Dr. Bruce Thomsen

Topic:  USDA licensing of cancer immunotherapeutics
Date/Time:  Sunday, March 11th – 11:00 am

The USDA, Center for Veterinary Biologics is responsible for regulating animal biological products which in general, act by an immune mediated response. Cancer immunotherapies such as vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and autologous products are regulated by the USDA, as opposed to chemotherapeutics, which are regulated by the FDA. This lecture will summarize the CVB stepwise approach for the regulation and use of cancer products first as “experimental biological products,” conditional licensure, and eventually full licensure. An understanding of this process will assist clinical veterinarians in the evaluation and use of the rapidly expanding number of veterinary cancer immunotherapeutics.


Dr. Brenda Phillips

Dr. Brenda Phillips

Topic: T cell-mediated immunotherapy for common canine cancers
Date/Time:  Sunday, March 11th – 3:30 pm

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell and tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapies have established the future potential for T cell-mediated immunotherapy in human oncology. Here we report a novel immunotherapeutic strategy that combines autologous cancer cell/immunological adjuvant vaccination and adoptive transfer of ex vivo-activated effector T cells for the treatment of various cancers in dogs. This combination has proven to be effective in preclinical rodent studies and human clinical trials. The clinical process, on-going trials, management, and experiences of this treatment being developed specifically for veterinary use in dogs will be discussed.


Dr. Phil Bergman

Dr. Phil Bergman

Topic: Of Mice & Men (and Dogs!): Xenogeneic DNA vaccines for the treatment of canine melanoma – What do we know 18 years later?
Date/Time:  Tuesday, March 13th – 9:00 am

Malignant melanoma is an extremely malignant and metastatic tumor in dogs and it is the most common oral tumor.  Most patients with oral malignant melanoma will go on to die of distant metastatic disease in the face of appropriate local tumor control and systemic chemotherapy, which strongly suggests novel therapies are desperately needed.  We will review and discuss the use of the Oncept therapeutic vaccine for canine oral malignant melanoma.


Dr. Nikolaos Dervisis

Dr. Nikolaos Dervisis

Topic: Irreversible electroporation and immune system interplay – A novel strategy for cancer therapy
Date/Time:  Tuesday, March 13th – 9:45 am

Tumor ablation induces tumor cell death, resulting in release of danger signals and tumor antigens that attract and activate the innate and adaptive immune system. Thanx, and I apologize againHigh-frequency irreversible electroporation (H-FIRE) is an ablative technique that destabilizes the cell membrane, and induces cell death in a non-thermal fashion. Mounting evidence indicate that H-FIRE promotes an antitumor immune response, independent of local blood flow, while preserving adjacent nerve function. Ongoing experimental data on murine models and progress on our canine clinical trial will be presented, in light of published rodent, canine, and human cancer patient studies.


Dr. Barb Biller

Dr. Barb Biller

Topic:  Metronomic chemotherapy and immunotherapy: A logical combination for anticancer therapy
Date/Time:  Tuesday, March 13th – 10:45 am

Although the tumor antiangiogenic activity of metronomic chemotherapy (MC) is one of the better understood mechanisms of action of this low dose, continuous, drug dosing strategy, it is clearly not the only one.  As our experience with MC grows additional antitumor effects are emerging, especially activation of the immune system and targeting of central players within the immune suppressive tumor microenvironment.  This talk will summarize the key evidence for the immunoregulatory effects of MC with a focus on clinical studies investigating its synergistic combination with cancer immunotherapeutics.  As optimal drug and dosing strategies are identified, MC will be increasingly used and thought of as a multimodal antitumor approach with applications that extend well beyond its antiangiogenic effects.